What is the story all about? 

If you are walking through a village and every 100m you came across five people coughing, one after every 20m, then your first thought will be to ask yourself whether you are safe in that village. Well, this may very much sound like a hypothetical scenario but in actual fact, this was the case of villagers around Ngaka Coal Mine in Ruvuma region. Owing to the daily explosions at the mine, toxic dust arising from the explosions contaminated water sources surrounding it. Unfortunately, the villagers were on the receiving end in the sense that they became victims of diseases and outbreaks such as coughing and typhoid.

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1.1.1       TV coverage on innovations changes business life

TMF funded a TV news magazine programme produced by Kilimanjaro Film Institute (KFI) in Arusha Region. One of the objectives of the programme is to cover entrepreneurial projects and innovations, and to give voice to the voiceless and/or ordinary people. KFI crews and producers searched for the innovators of three items, i) bio-gas irons, ii) a water-powered electricity generator and iii) a power tiller using motorcycle engine.  Out of interviews KFI produced a TV news magazine aired by TBC1 in the now popular TV magazine called ‘Tazama Magazine’, run every Sunday with repeats on Tuesdays.

Joseph was quoted being pleased on his bio-gas irons; “I am very pleased that you journalists, through the Tazama TV programme on TBC1, I got customers who were flocking to my house to buy bio-gas irons. After four days I received four orders. I used to sell a maximum of two irons per month but now I sell up to 11 - and at double the previous price,” says Mungure.

On electricity generator, said people did not believe that he had indeed made an electricity generator until they saw him being interviewed on TV. He received more than 60 calls the day the programme was aired.

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TMF funded a radio talk show on child labour produced and aired by Radio Country FM in Iringa. The programme, known as ‘Mwangaza wa Mtoto’, became so popular that some listeners were directing street children to go there and tell their stories.

“.....the boy sounded very intelligent and I was literally hooked into hearing his story about his mother’s death and how he ran from Makete, where he was taken after that tragedy. He told me how he returned to Iringa only to land in car washing business.....” says Hussein Mahende, one of the listeners of Radio Country FM in the child labour talk show.

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The Multipurpose Community Tele-Centre which runs Radio Sengerema FM 98.8 secured a capacity building grant from TMF to promote mobile phone reporting in rural community groups, improve citizen journalism and enhance their radio programmes. On this project, 34 women from the ‘Wanawake wa Habari na Mawasiliano Sengerema’ group (WAHAMASE, which literally translates to ‘Sengerema Women for Information and Communication’) were trained by one-time TMF grantee Jacob Muginion basics in journalism. WAHAMASE seeks to educate women on how to use the media as a tool that can transform their social and economic wellbeing.

According to the Radio Manager, Ms Mercy Charles the impact created by the 34 ward reporters has been immense: “The training in mobile phone reporting has greatly transformed our approach to news gathering. We are guaranteed of a steady flow of relevant local news from all the 34 wards than was the case before. We are now sure of at least 10 news items from each ward per month.” 

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A project run by GEMSAT and funded by TMF, took Privatus Karugendo to a small island reportedly never before visited by a national or even regional government official.

It all happened after a series of articles appeared in Tanzania Daima, a Kiswahili daily newspaper, in February 2010. The Kagera Regional Commissioner Mohammed Babu toured the island as well a few others nearby. The visit was duly aired by Star TV, followed by election campaigns conducted there for the first time in recorded history. Presidential, parliamentary and civil election contestants streamed to the islands, again in the full glare of TV cameras.

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